It’s that time of year again, when you have to get through a long shopping list of Christmas gifts. You’re going to have to make your way through the packed crowds at the nearest mall in hopes of finding the perfect items still sitting on the shelves, and you’re going to browse through every page of your favorite retail websites and fill up your digital shopping cart.
Before you grab your wallet and start shopping, you should read these savvy tips first.
Keep Your Receipts
Always, always, always keep the receipts for the gifts that you purchase. It may seem tacky to let the recipient see how much you spent on them, but it’s actually a very thoughtful gesture. Leaving them the receipt gives them the option to return the item for cash or store credit. If they don’t like the gift, they can feel free to replace it with something that they do. They don’t have to accept your gift out of pure obligation. If it doesn’t make them happy, they shouldn’t have to keep it.
Check with Parents
Do you have nieces, nephews, or little cousins that you’re buying gifts for? Contact their parents before you go shopping for them. Their parents will know their kids’ wish lists for gifts, especially when those kids are young enough to still write their wish lists in their letters to Santa Claus. The parents will let you know what you can buy! Now you won’t have to guess what the kids want and risk missing the mark.
Use Your Rewards
You have collected a ton of reward points over the past year, and you’ve yet to put them to good use. This is the perfect time to do that. Use your credit card rewards and retailer loyalty points that you’ve accumulated to purchase Christmas gifts. You could get the items for “free”, or you could at least get them at a heavily discounted rate. Either way, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of money.
Set a Spending Limit
Speaking of money, you should go through your personal budget and make a clear spending limit before you decide to hit the stores. Write down that limit and stick to it as best as you can. Or even better — challenge yourself to spend less than the limit and keep some money in your pocket.
Without a clear spending limit, you could easily get caught up in a shopping spree and spend way more than you can afford to. Going overboard could lead to a lot of financial mishaps. For instance, if you emptied your savings account to cover your shopping spree, you could leave yourself vulnerable to surprise expenses. If a surprise expense shows up during the winter holidays, you won’t know what to do.
In the case that you overspend on your holiday shopping and can’t afford a surprise expense with your own personal savings, you could borrow funds to cover it. You can do this by charging the expense to your credit card, as long as there is enough credit available. Or you can try to get an online loan and follow a repayment plan afterward. You can click here to learn more about installment loans and other online loan options available to you. This information could come in handy later on.
Online loans should be only used for emergency purposes. Do not apply for this borrowing solution to help you manage other types of expenses, like holiday gifts.
These savvy tips will help you shop for the right presents and keep your finances in good shape this holiday season. You won’t have any spending regrets once Christmas arrives.